Best 3D Animation Software 2017

Whether you are just starting out with 3D animation or you are looking to expand your skills, having the right tools is paramount to success. The best 3D animation software will be a perfect combination of mathematics and art that will be easy to use and will generate amazing results.

Whilst it is clear that having a great animation program is the key to getting the ideal results, it is difficult to know which ones provide the best range of features and which ones are the easiest to use. We have included a list of the most useful pieces of software and also some tips on choosing the right one for you.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • User Interface. The software options on our list are varied in terms of how complex the interface is. Choosing how complicated you want the interface is obviously connected to your ability but even the most experienced animator can get frustrated by a crowded workspace.
  • Beginner vs. Experienced. On our list we have included both pieces of software for those that are looking to improve already established skills and those completely new to animation, including children.

Our rating is based on the extensibility of the features and how much you will be able to grow with the software. If you are looking to get software that is simple to use then the intermediate options are for you, for those animators that want to take their skills as far as possible they should choose the software that caters for a wider range of user ability.

Top 3D Animation Software Table

PictureNameUser AbilityPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameUser AbilityPriceRating (1-5)
1. Anime Studio Pro 9Intermediate$$$$4.4
2. Anime Studio Debut 10 Beginner - Advanced$3.9
3. Poser 10 Intermediate$$3.8
4. Poser 9 Beginner - Advanced$$$3.8
5. Crayola Animation Studio Young beginners$$3.7
6. Curious Labs Poser 5 Intermediate$3.3

The Key Features of the Best 3D Animation Software

While our list of software options comes with a variety of features and options, there are two key areas that you should look at before you make your decision.

  • Modeling. The features that are in this section will include anything that simulates materials. For the most realistic results you should opt for software that provides a great deal of detail on a range of materials, including: liquids, skin, fur/hair and realistic movements of muscle.
  • Animation. The key here is to look for software that provides the option to animate on multiple layers. The software should also be pleasant to use in this respect, as it is the easiest way to become frustrated while animating. Making sure your choice has all of the features that you could want is key to getting the best 3D animation software.

3D Animation Software Reviews

1. Anime Studio Pro 9

Anime Studio Pro 9 is a program that will let you take a more professional approach to 3D animation. The detailing of this software is really what makes it a great tool to have at your disposal.

You can design everything yourself and use the program to bring your animations to life with the ability to add music, speech, sounds and everything else to create a polished product. This program is also flexible in terms of importing.

Due to how in depth this program is, there is a steep learning curve at the beginning for anyone that isn’t an experienced animator already. This is something that you will need to consider when buying. It should be noted, however, that after you get the hang of it then the software is quick and easy to navigate and get to the fun parts.

2. Anime Studio Debut 10

The low price alone makes the Anime Studio Debut 10 more than worth the cost. It has enhanced tools to make drawing and bringing creative ideas to life even easier for anyone as this program comes with countless tutorials to teach anyone that is new to using the software.

This would make a great gift for someone that is interested in animation but isn’t ready to invest a lot of money yet.  There is even a beginner’s mode that makes things even more simplified in terms of tools available and finding them.

Learning while you go is an incredible advantage, especially when you get into the motion tracking options and the sound effects and lip synching.

3. Poser 10

The best 3D animation software is one that you can use in whatever capacity you need. It can be used for professional animation as well as for those just starting out, which is exactly what you get when you purchase the Poser 10 software.

This is a program that will let you create cartoons and adjust all of the aspects of a setting and the characters in order to give you more control.

The possibility to use this software with a Mac or PC also makes it more flexible and means that you can take advantage of the extensive software regardless of your machine. This is a huge plus as many programs are solely made for one platform.

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